Making a 52 project on the theme of reflections has made me realize that I really love water piles, raindrops and how water ripples around toys. Puddles are made for toys.
I have a softspot for puddles
I have always known that I have a softspot for water puddles. But doing this 52-week challenge have made me lie down on the ground for hours just to get a image. This is, or was at some point, something of a novelty for me. I do this to get to the light, the movement in the water, or the right background, the reflection and the right focus or even no focus.
Another insight that I gained from this project is that I just don’t settle for the first puddle that comes my way (I use to do that). Now I inspect them before I start. Is the light right? But it doesn’t end there because I also look at the environment – because it’s also very important. For some reason, parking lots work very well. Maybe because the puddles remain there? Maybe because I can work there without interruptions? I’m not sure.
The best puddles are in parking lots
All I know is that I seem to end up in parking lots creating puddle images. The hard part with parking lots is the cars. Not because they can run me down, but more because they sometimes ends up in the reflection. And that never works in the end.
I can’t get enough – why?
Why are water puddles so fascinating? And what is it about them that I can’t get enough of? I have some hypotheses. My first is that I have a hangup toward the reflection itself. The second is that the water makes it harder to do the images. I almost always have a hard time finding a suitable balance point for the toys on a rough surface. And my third hypothesis is that it’s the metaphor of the reflection itself that makes me reflect …
Through the reflection I’m looking for something with great expectations. It can be that I think I’ll see my loved one, or maybe I’ll see the true me through the water mirror, or something I didn’t know. The search for this unknown quality is part of the attraction to create these images. There is also a great technical challenge for me to work with the water puddles. The water itself moves and makes it more interesting to find the image; the idea behind the image of the toy.
Is there a theme?
For this post I looked through my puddle images to see if there is a theme. But I don’t see any theme like I do when I look at Shelly’s. My images aren’t about motion or a journey but rather I’m fascinated by the medium (the water) and the conditions and opportunities that come with the water and the toys reflection in that water. The water itself is the medium for me. I believe that the water gives the image life, and at the same time it devolves the subject. In the images that I like the most, the water reflects the subject and enhances its presence. For me the water becomes a metaphor for the idea that what you see on the surface is not everything; there is more hidden beneath the surface. In other images the surface is all you see and share.
In the reflection, or by reflecting, we can see more than just what meets the eye. We look again and maybe we will see more. And maybe even be surprised.
Kristina, first of all, Kudos for the picture. It is both beautiful and evocative, and I do not get tired contemplating it – it appeals to me again and again!
As for your fascination with puddles, I can absolutely see your point. Water holds great fascination for me, too. Being by the sea feels like a kid in a candy store. (That said, I do wonder why I never thought of combining water and toys.)
I can also relate to being attracted to certain – what shall we call it – ways of picture making, to inevitably being drawn towards them without ever developing a theme: Maybe we are focused on form rather than ‘content.’ I, for my part, often feel like toy photography is just an excuse for making pictures I would not get across otherwise.
Does this make sense? Just a few musing on a Sunday afternoon.
Thank you Tobias. A way of making pictures – yeah I have thought of that, and tried it as a hypotheisis for my reflection work, that I’m exploring a technic or a way of making images. And I think that is part of it, but part of it is also the reflection in itself, how it makes me see something more, then just a toy in a puddle. I see a different world, not just a puddle from the rain, but a see or a beach or what ever there is to explore. By doing my puddle work I explore a different angle to look at the world. I share your view of water and the ocean – There is something endless over water.
So to reply yes it makes all the sense :)/kristina
Wonderful post Kristina. I truly enjoy your puddle photos. I always find the reflections to be beautiful and fascinating. I can only imagine what a challenge it must be to take photos outside and deal with puddles, parking lots, rain etc.
I’ve always been interested in reflections. If I could think of a way to light and photograph “puddles” in my home studio, I probably would try it. In the meantime, I always love seeing your photos and I’m especially enjoying this series involving Leia 🙂
I know that you would make the best reflection there is in your studio. I love the cleaness of your work and I’d love to see more of that in my own work 🙂